Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor WT722 (ex G-BWGN)

T.8C WT722 - Bournemouth Aviation Museum, Hurn, Dorset

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Hunter T.8C WT722 at Newquay, 2nd August 2023; Andrew Shemans

WT722 was built as an F4, first flown on 4th February 1955, and delivered to the RAF on 25th May 1955. Serving with 54(F) and 26(F) Squadrons, she was sold back to Hawkers in 1957 and rebuilt as a T.8, being delivered to the Royal Navy on 10th April 1959, making her one of the first T.8 conversions delivered. Serving with 703 and 764 NAS at RNAS Lossiemouth, and 759 NAS at Brawdy. In 1977, she moved to RNAS Yeovilton and service with the Air Direction Training Unit (ADTU). When FRU merged with ADTU to form FRADU in 1972 she became part of the FRADU fleet - and by 1983 was the oldest Hunter in airworthy condition.

Retired in 1994 (with 9,500 flying hours and 12,500 landings in her logbooks!) and was placed in to storage at RAF Shawbury. A year later, she was sold at an auction to Classic Jets based at Exeter, being flown down there in 1996 after being registered as G-BWGN. In common with many of the Exeter airframes, her civilian life was a short one - her CofA expired in 1997 - and in 2006 she ended up in storage with Delta Jets at Kemble. In late May 2010, she moved - by road - to Coventry as part of the new Airbase (Air Atlantique) collection. However, she didn't stay long before she was on the road again, this time to Newquay where she became a part of the collection at the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre. Shortly after arrival, in 2015, she received some TLC and a respray back into the colours she wore when with FRADU.

After being on display for several years, CAHC was sadly forced to close its doors in 2023 leaving all the airframes with an uncertain future. Thankfully, WT722 was acquired by the Bournemouth Aviation Museum based in Dorset, arriving in early August 2023.

Back in October 2022, WT722 appeared to be in a fairly sound state, although it is lacking a couple of panels on both sides under the cockpit, allowing you to see right through the airframe. Her canopy is starting to cloud over, and her paintwork is fading but is still holding up rather well.

Information on this page current as of 07/09/2023, last updated by Damien

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